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Hepatogastroenterology. 2005 Jul-Aug;52(64):1163-7.

Clinicopathologic features and prognostic factors of resected solitary small-sized hepatocellular carcinoma.

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Department of Surgery, Division of Frontier Medical Science, Programs for Biomedical Research, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Hiroshima University, Hiroshima, Japan.



Solitary small-sized HCCs tend to be considered as less aggressive cancer, and non-surgical treatments have recently been preferred. The aim of this study was to clarify the clinicopathological features and the prognostic factors of small-sized HCCs and to evaluate the significance of hepatic resection for them.


Eighty patients with HCC up to 2cm in diameter who had undergone hepatic resection were enrolled in this study. We investigated the clinicopathological features and evaluated the prognostic factors by univariate and multivariate analyses.


The overall survival rates at 3, 5 and 10 years were 83%, 69% and 36%, respectively, and the corresponding disease-free survival rates were 63%, 41% and 10%. Well-differentiated, moderately differentiated and poorly differentiated HCC were detected in 29%, 65% and 6% of the patients, respectively. Furthermore, microscopic portal vein invasion (vp), hepatic vein invasion (vv) and intrahepatic metastasis (im) were positive in 15%, 4% and 10% of the patients, respectively. Multivariate analysis revealed that Child-Pugh classification (p=0.005) and vp (p=0.0008) were independent prognostic factors for survival rate and that platelet count (p=0.002) and tumor differentiation (p=0.0016) were independent prognostic factors for disease-free survival rate.


Even solitary small-sized (up to 2cm in diameter) HCC already have the characteristics of advanced HCC. When hepatic function is well preserved, hepatic resection should be the first choice for local control, especially in cases of moderately to poorly differentiated HCC, because the frequency of microscopic vascular invasion is high.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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